Landfill Diversion via Carpet Recycling
Chances are good that at some point in time you have refreshed the flooring in your home. In doing so, you probably generated loads of carpet and pad to be hauled off. Whether you removed the carpet yourself, or had a contractor do it for you, it most likely went to your local landfill in which case you paid for its disposal, directly or indirectly.
This past weekend, Lara and I ripped carpeting and pad out of our house in preparation for the new floating cork floor we will be laying soon. I don’t care how often you vacuum and shampoo your carpeting, when you get up close and personal with it to remove it after a few years in place, it is just plain disgusting. In our case, we bought this house six years ago and until we moved in two months ago, rented it to folks with pets. Needless to say, the carpet and pad we were handling went well beyond disgusting and into the nasty realm.
Earlier today, I walked out my front door to the view that you see in the picture above. Our local construction materials salvage yard, ReSource, has helped us out immensely with landfill diversion during our remodeling project by accepting things like cabinets, light fixtures and old appliances. However, I had asked around and searched a fair bit for carpet recycling options when we started our project, without success. Still, the thought of driving carpet to the landfill and dumping it again was really bothering me.
So I turned to google again, entered “recycling carpet” (without Ft. Collins in the search line this time), and hit upon a website I had not seen before by CARE (Carpet America Recovery Effort) . CARE is a joint effort by the carpet industry and the government to encourage carpet and pad recycling and minimize the quantity of waste carpet going into our landfills. You gotta believe that sustainable living and sustainable business practices are really starting to catch on when an older industry like carpet manufacturing gets proactive about it’s full product lifecycle. Kudos to the carpet manufacturers!
Once on the CARE site, I clicked on the icon to find a carpet reclamation partner in my area and wound up chatting with Kristi at Colorado Reclamation Systems. They’ve been operating for about three months now and have been swamped with folks who would rather recycle carpet than landfill it.
To make a potentially long story short for now, I’ll be driving to CRS’s facility some time next week to recycle our nasty old carpet. They are in Denver so it is a bit of a haul. But as their website points out, carpet makes up between 3% and 5% of the waste stream in our landfills, so it’s a drive well worth it. I’ll post again after I visit CRS with more information about their operations, fees and potential plans to expand collection to other parts of Colorado.